Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20070149091 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/555,049
Publication dateJun 28, 2007
Filing dateOct 31, 2006
Priority dateNov 3, 2005
Also published asEP1954364A2, EP1954364A4, WO2007056055A2, WO2007056055A3
Publication number11555049, 555049, US 2007/0149091 A1, US 2007/149091 A1, US 20070149091 A1, US 20070149091A1, US 2007149091 A1, US 2007149091A1, US-A1-20070149091, US-A1-2007149091, US2007/0149091A1, US2007/149091A1, US20070149091 A1, US20070149091A1, US2007149091 A1, US2007149091A1
InventorsEvelyn Viohl
Original AssigneeEvelyn Viohl
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Interactive doll
US 20070149091 A1
Abstract
The present disclosure provides toys, and components thereof, for an interactive doll. An interactive doll of the present disclosure may, among other possible actions, close and open its eyes, pucker its lips, smile, blow kisses, change colors, and/or speak in response to a user interacting with the doll. A user may interact with the doll in a number of manners, such as by bringing objects near the doll, applying a liquid to the doll, changing the temperature of the doll, and/or by engaging mechanisms on the doll.
Images(4)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(46)
1. A toy doll for interaction with a user having a head with a face, the doll comprising:
a feature disposed on the face, the feature movable between a nominal configuration and an active configuration, and at least a portion of the feature having a thermal characteristic wherein the portion of the feature displays a first color when the thermal characteristic is below a first temperature, and the portion of the feature displays a second color when the thermal characteristic is above a second temperature;
an actuator including:
an internal portion disposed within the head to move the feature between the nominal and active configurations; and
a trigger adapted to be manipulated by the user, the trigger communicating with the internal portion to control movement of the feature; and
an applicator for altering the thermal characteristic of the portion of the feature to change the color of the portion of the feature from one of the first and second colors to the other of the first and second colors.
2. The toy doll of claim 1, wherein the trigger, when manipulated by the user to a position within a predetermined distance of the internal portion, activates the internal portion to move the feature to the active configuration.
3. The toy doll of claim 1 wherein the trigger is a button disposed on the doll.
4. The toy doll of claim 1 further including a neck, wherein the trigger is disposed adjacent to the neck.
5. The toy doll of claim 1, wherein the applicator includes a sponge for retaining liquid.
6. The toy doll of claim 5, further including a bowl with two or more reservoirs, with one reservoir containing liquid at a temperature below the first temperature and a second reservoir containing a liquid at a temperature above the second temperature.
7. The toy doll of claim 1, wherein the trigger is coupled to the applicator.
8. The toy doll of claim 7, wherein the trigger and applicator coupled together resemble a hand-held makeup applicator.
9. The toy doll of claim 2, wherein:
the internal portion includes a magnetically responsive element coupled to the feature;
the trigger includes a magnet; and
the magnet acts on the magnetically responsive element when manipulated by the user to a position within the predetermined distance, thereby moving the feature between the nominal and active configurations.
10. The toy doll of claim 2, wherein the feature in the nominal configuration substantially conceals the portion of the feature having the thermal characteristic from the user, and the feature in the active configuration substantially exposes the portion of the feature having the thermal characteristic to the user.
11. The toy doll of claim 10, wherein the feature includes at least one eye and the portion of the feature having a thermal characteristic includes an eyelid.
12. The toy doll of claim 11, wherein:
the internal portion includes a magnetically responsive element coupled to the eye;
the trigger includes a magnet; and
the magnet acts on the magnetically responsive element when manipulated by the user to a position within the predetermined distance, thereby moving the eye between the nominal and active configurations.
13. The toy doll of claim 11, wherein:
the internal portion includes a motor and a magnetically responsive switch operatively coupled to the motor;
the trigger includes a magnet; and
the magnet acts on the magnetically responsive switch when the magnet is manipulated by the user to a position within the predetermined distance of the magnetically responsive switch, the magnetically responsive switch then actuates the motor to move the eye between the nominal and active configurations.
14. The toy doll of claim 11, wherein the feature includes two eyes, and the two eyes are coupled together.
15. The toy doll of claim 14, whereby one eye moving causes the other eye to move.
16. The toy doll of claim 1 wherein the feature comprises at least one lip.
17. The toy doll of claim 16 wherein the feature includes two lips and the lips are puckered in the active configuration.
18. The toy doll of claim 16, wherein:
the internal portion includes a magnetically responsive element coupled to the lip;
the trigger includes a magnet; and
the magnet acts on the magnetically responsive element when manipulated by the user to a position within a predetermined distance of the magnetically responsive element, causing the lip to move from the nominal configuration to the active configuration.
19. The toy doll of claim 16, wherein:
the internal portion includes a cam coupled to the lip, a motor and a magnetically responsive switch operatively coupled to the motor;
the trigger includes a magnet; and
the magnet causes the magnetically responsive switch to activate the motor when the magnet is manipulated by the user to a position within a predetermined distance of the magnetically responsive switch, the motor then rotates the cam to move the lip between the nominal and active configurations.
20. The toy doll of claim 19 wherein the lip returns to the nominal configuration from the active configuration after the magnet is removed from within the predetermined distance from the magnetically responsive switch.
21. The toy doll of claim 20, wherein after the magnet is removed from within the predetermined distance from the magnetically responsive switch, the lip returns to the nominal configuration from the active configuration only after a predetermined amount of time.
22. The toy doll of claim 1, wherein the feature includes a thermochromic material.
23. The toy doll of claim 1, further including a speaker and a voice generator.
24. The toy doll of claim 23, wherein the voice generator operates in association with the movement of the feature.
25. The toy doll of claim 23, wherein the voice generator generates phrases dependent on user actions.
26. A user-interactive toy eye apparatus for use with a doll head, the apparatus comprising:
an eye with an eyelid portion, the eye being movable between a nominal configuration and an active configuration, and the eyelid portion having a thermal characteristic such that the eyelid portion displays a first color when the thermal characteristic is below a first temperature and the eyelid portion displays a second color when the thermal characteristic is above a second temperature;
an actuator including:
an internal portion disposed within the head to move the eye between the nominal and active configurations; and
a trigger adapted to be manipulated by the user, the trigger communicating with the internal portion to control movement of the eye; and
an applicator for altering the thermal characteristic of the eyelid portion to change the color of the eyelid portion from one of the first and second colors to the other of the first and second colors.
27. The toy eye apparatus of claim 26, wherein the eye in the nominal configuration appears open and conceals a substantial portion of the eyelid portion from the user, and the eye in the active configuration appears closed and exposes a substantial portion of the eyelid portion to the user.
28. The toy eye apparatus of claim 26, wherein:
the internal portion includes a magnetically responsive element coupled to the eye;
the trigger includes a magnet; and
the magnet, being manipulated by the user to a position within a predetermined distance of the magnetically responsive element, causes the eye to move from the nominal configuration into the active configuration.
29. The toy eye apparatus of claim 26, wherein:
the internal portion includes a motor and a magnetically responsive switch operably coupled to the motor;
the trigger includes a magnet; and
the magnet, being manipulated by the user to a position within a predetermined distance of the magnetically responsive switch, acts on the magnetically responsive switch, the magnetically responsive switch thereby actuating the motor to move the eye from the nominal configuration to the active configuration.
30. The toy eye apparatus of claim 26, wherein the applicator includes a sponge for retaining liquid.
31. The toy eye apparatus of claim 30, further including a bowl with two or more reservoirs, with one reservoir containing liquid at a temperature below the first temperature and a second reservoir containing a liquid at a temperature above the second temperature.
32. The toy eye apparatus of claim 26, wherein the trigger is coupled to the applicator.
33. The toy eye apparatus of claim 32, wherein the trigger and applicator coupled together resemble a hand-held makeup applicator.
34. The toy eye apparatus of claim 26, wherein the lip includes a thermochromic material.
35. A user-interactive toy mouth apparatus for use with a head, the apparatus comprising:
a lip movable between a nominal configuration and an active configuration, at least a portion of the lip having a thermal characteristic such that the portion of the lip displays a first color when the thermal characteristic is below a first temperature and the portion of the lip displays a second color when the thermal characteristic is above a second temperature;
an actuator including:
an internal portion disposed within the head to move the lip between the nominal and active configurations; and
a trigger adapted to be manipulated by the user, the trigger communicating with the internal portion to control movement of the feature; and
an applicator for altering the thermal characteristic of the portion of the lip to change the color of the portion of the lip from one of the first and second colors to the other of the first and second colors.
36. The toy mouth apparatus of claim 35, further including an additional lip, and when the lips are the nominal configuration they resemble a smile, and when the lips are in the active configuration they appear to pucker.
37. The toy mouth apparatus of claim 35, wherein:
the internal portion includes a magnetically responsive element coupled to the lip;
the trigger includes a magnet;
the magnet, being manipulated by the user to a position within a predetermined distance of the magnetically responsive element, causes the lip to move between the nominal and active configurations.
38. The toy mouth apparatus of claim 35, wherein:
the internal portion includes a cam coupled to the lip, a motor and a magnetically responsive switch;
the trigger includes a magnet; and
the magnet, being manipulated by the user to a position within a predetermined distance of the magnetically responsive switch, causes the magnetically responsive switch to activate the motor, the motor thereby rotating the cam to move the lip between the nominal and active configurations.
39. The toy mouth apparatus of claim 35, wherein the applicator includes a sponge for retaining liquid.
40. The toy mouth apparatus of claim 39, further including a bowl with two or more reservoirs, with one reservoir containing liquid at a temperature below the first temperature and a second reservoir containing a liquid at a temperature above the second temperature.
41. The toy mouth apparatus of claim 35, wherein the trigger is coupled to the applicator.
42. The toy mouth apparatus of claim 41, wherein the trigger and applicator coupled together resemble a hand-held makeup applicator.
43. The toy mouth apparatus of claim 38, wherein the motor includes a solenoid adapted to move the cam, causing the lip to move.
44. The toy mouth apparatus of claim 38, wherein the lip returns to the nominal configuration from the active configuration after the magnet is removed from within the predetermined distance from the magnetically responsive switch.
45. The toy mouth apparatus of claim 44, wherein after the magnet is removed from within the predetermined distance from the magnetically responsive switch, the lip returns to the nominal configuration from the active configuration only after a predetermined amount of time.
46. The toy mouth apparatus of claim 35, wherein the lip includes a thermochromic material.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. § 119(e) to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/733,353 entitled “Interactive Doll,” filed Nov. 3, 2005, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present disclosure relates generally to toy dolls. More specifically, the present disclosure relates to the structure and operation of an interactive toy doll.

Toy dolls have been in use for many years, and are well known in the art. Toy dolls have additionally included color-changing features, in some cases using thermochromic material. Some examples include the thermochromic materials disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,028,118, issued to Nakasuji et al. on Jun. 7, 1977; U.S. Pat. No. 4,421,560, issued to Kito et al. on Dec. 20, 1983; and U.S. Pat. No. 4,720,301, issued to Kito et al. on Jan. 19, 1988, the disclosures of which are hereby incorporated by reference. As such, “thermochromic material” as used herein is intended to refer to any suitable material that changes color in response to temperature variations.

Toy dolls further have included interactive features, such as lights, sounds and clothes that may be configured. While toy dolls including thermochromic material may allow the user to simulate the application of makeup to various doll features, this experience has been one-sided, as the doll has not interacted or reacted in any way besides changing color. Thus, the development of makeup application dolls capable of interaction with a user beyond mere color change may be beneficial to the art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present disclosure provides toys, and components thereof, for an interactive doll. An interactive doll of the present disclosure may, among other possible actions, close and open its eyes, pucker its lips, smile, blow kisses, change colors, and/or speak in response to a user interacting with the doll. A user may interact with the doll in a number of manners, such as by bringing objects near the doll, applying a liquid to the doll, changing the temperature of the doll, and/or by engaging mechanisms on the doll.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a pictorial drawing of an interactive doll according to the present disclosure.

FIG. 2 shows an interactive doll according to the present disclosure interacting with a user-held device.

FIG. 3 shows a side view of an interactive doll according to the present disclosure interacting with a user-held device.

FIG. 4 shows a cutout view of the interactive doll along the plane labeled as 4 in FIG. 3, including the internal portion used in an exemplary embodiment to interact with the user.

FIG. 5 shows the same cutout view as FIG. 4, with the internal portion shown interacting with the user.

FIG. 6 shows an example of how the various components of the interactive doll may be configured.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

With reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, the present disclosure relates to toys, and components thereof, for a toy doll 10 for interaction with a user. The interactive doll may include a head 20 and a body 30, and may include other customary doll features such as arms and legs. The head 20 may include features, including eyes 24 and lips 26, which may be movable between various configurations. Such configurations may include a nominal or default configuration, where the feature is at rest, as well as at least one active configuration, where the feature presents a different appearance than in the nominal configuration.

The body 30 may include a body cavity 34 defined by a body surface 32 surrounding the cavity 34. The body 30 may support the head 20 and may additionally resemble a human torso. Optionally, the body 30 may be painted, molded, formed, or otherwise decorated to resemble a person wearing clothes.

The interactive doll 10 may include movable features, color changing features, and/or speech features, as will be discussed herein. A user may interact with the doll 10 in a number of manners to activate one or more of the movement, color change, and speech features. As an illustrative but non-limiting example, a user may utilize an actuator 40 which includes a hand-held makeup unit 42, a trigger 44 and an applicator 80 to interact with one or more movable features of the interactive doll, as discussed in more detail herein. Exemplary interactive features, including eyes 24 and lips 26 are discussed below and illustrated in FIGS. 1-6; other facial features, such as the nose, eyebrows, cheeks, or other features may similarly be made interactive.

With reference to an exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-2, eyes 24 are illustrated in a nominal configuration, in this instance appearing open, in FIG. 1 and in an active configuration, in this instance appearing closed, in FIG. 2. Eyes 24 include eyelid portions 24 a. Eyes 24 may be adapted to remain open or in the nominal configuration until responding to a user action. When the eyes 24 are open or in the nominal configuration, all or part of the eyelid portion 24 a may be hidden from the user. When the eye 24 is in closed or in the active configuration, all or part of the eyelid portion 24 a may be exposed to the user.

As shown in FIG. 2, eyes 24 may be operated by an actuator 40 with a trigger 44 and an internal portion 50 a wherein the trigger 44 may be adapted to communicate with the internal portion 50 a to move the eye 24 to the active configuration when the trigger 44 is brought within a predetermined distance from the internal portion 50 a. The trigger 44 may emanate any suitable wireless signals, including but not limited to a magnetic field, radio frequency (e.g. RFID), or any other wireless signal.

The internal portion 50 a may be disposed in the head cavity 28, and may take the form of a variety of mechanical systems responsive to the signal emanating from the trigger 44. For instance, the trigger 44 may take the form of a magnet and act on a magnetically responsive element 52 disposed in the internal portion 50 a when the user configures the trigger 44 into a position within a predetermined distance of the magnetically responsive element 52, to move the eyes 24 between the nominal and active configurations. The magnetically responsive element 52 may be disposed in the middle of the eye 24 such that the eye 24 moves to expose an eyelid portion 24 a when the trigger 44 is moved to a position within a predetermined distance of the eyes 24. For example, eye 24 and eyelid portion 24 a may be rotatably mounted together on an axle, with a magnet positioned inside eye 24 to swing the eyelid portion 24 a closed when attracted to a magnet in trigger 44.

Alternatively, the internal portion 50 a may take the form of a motor operably coupled to a magnetically responsive switch. The trigger 44 could act on the magnetically responsive switch when manipulated by the user to a position within a predetermined distance of the magnetically responsive switch. The switch could in turn actuate the motor, which causes the eyes to move between the nominal and active configurations.

FIG. 2 illustrates the doll 10 with the trigger 44 within a predetermined distance of one eye 24 such that both eyes 24 are in the active configuration. While the trigger 44 only engages the magnetically responsive element 52 in a single eye 24, the eyes 24 may be coupled together or otherwise associated to move both eyes to the active configuration in response to the interactive engagement of a single eye, as shown in FIG. 2. Additionally or alternatively, the eyes 24 may be separate or capable of separate interactive responses. For example, the doll 10 may have eyes 24 capable of blinking or closing a single eye in response to the user actions.

FIGS. 1-5 illustrate another interactive feature of the doll 10, in the form of lips 26, within the scope of the present disclosure. Lips 26 are illustrated in a nominal configuration, in this instance appearing smiling, in FIGS. 1-4, and in an active configuration, in this instance appearing puckered, in FIGS. 3 (shown in dotted lines) and 5. Lips 26 may be adapted to remain smiling or in the nominal configuration until responding to a user action.

The embodiment in these figures is configured with interactive lips 26 that move in response to user actions. As illustrated in FIG. 3, there may be an actuator 40 including an internal portion 50 b, such as a sensor and a motor, and a trigger 44, wherein the trigger 44 may be moved within a predetermined distance of the lips 26 of the doll 10, as shown by direction arrow A. The trigger 44 may affect a change in the lips 26 to move them from a nominal configuration to an active configuration.

The lips 26 may be moved between the nominal and active configurations by a number of suitable mechanical systems. These mechanical systems may be adapted to be responsive to a suitable signal, such as a magnetic field, radio frequency (e.g., RFID), or any other wireless signal, emanating from the trigger to cause the interactive movement.

The internal portion 50 b of the actuator 40 may be disposed at least partially in the head cavity 28 and may extend to the body cavity 34. In some aspects of the present disclosure, the internal portion 50 b may include a cam coupled to the lips within the head cavity 28, such that the cam moves forward to push the middle of the lips 26 outwardly from the smiling position upon activation of the actuator 40. The internal portion 50 b may also include a motor and a switch. One example of a suitable motor includes a solenoid adapted to be switched on by the user action to move the cam forward. In some examples, the switch may be a magnetically responsive element. The switch may activate and deactivate the motor. In some examples, the switch may respond to the trigger 44 in the form of a magnet. Additionally or alternatively, a user interface mechanism 36, such as a push button, may activate and deactivate the motor.

An exemplary actuator 40 within the scope of the present disclosure is seen in FIGS. 3-5, where FIGS. 4 and 5 show cut-out views of the interactive doll 10 of FIG. 3 along the plane labeled as 4 in FIG. 3. In this embodiment, the internal portion 50 b of the actuator 40 includes a motor 54 containing a sensor, such as a magnetically responsive switch 54 a within the motor, and a cam 56. The cam 56 is shown in operation with a planar piece 58 having a slot 58 a, the cam 56 being operably coupled to the planar piece 58 via a peg 56 a disposed on the cam adjacent to the edge of the cam 56 and extending into the slot 58 a.

The trigger 44, when configured to a position within a predetermined distance of the magnetically responsive switch 54 a, causes the switch 54 a to activate the motor 54. The motor 54 in turn rotates the cam 56 through 180°, as shown by arrow C. As the cam 56 rotates, the peg 56 a moves the planar piece 58 outwardly as shown by the arrow X. Thus, the rotational motion of the cam 56 is translated into linear motion. This linear motion pushes the planar piece 58 out in the direction X, against the backside of the lips 26. This motion against the backside of the lips 26 forces the lips 26 out and away from the head 20 in the direction of arrow B, thus making the doll 10 appear to pucker or kiss.

The actuator 40 may be adapted to move the lips 26 between a smiling position, a puckered position, and/or a kissing position. The puckered position and the kissing position may position the lips 26 in substantially the same configuration or in different configurations. Accordingly, the actuator 40 may be adapted to provide more than one type of motion. Additionally or alternatively, the internal portion 50 b associated with the lips 26 may be coupled to or cooperatively associated with internal portion 50 a associated with the eyes 24. One example of such cooperative association includes a single user action that triggers the interactive response including blowing a kiss and blinking or winking one or both eyes 24.

In another aspect of the present disclosure, the interactive movement of the various facial features and the interactive responses of the doll 10 may be adapted to facilitate or to be responsive to the application of “makeup” to the doll 10. For example, the eyelid portions 24 a and the lips 26 may include, be painted with, or otherwise have their surfaces affected by a thermochromic material. To this end, the material of the eyelid portions 24 a or lips 26 may be blended with a thermochromic material.

When the features of the doll include a thermochromic material, the appearance of the features may change in response to temperature change of a thermal characteristic of the features. The change in appearance may include a change in color, as well as a change from one pattern to another or a change of texture. The colors, quantity, and location of the thermochromic materials may be selected to provide the desired color change affect so that the user is able to simulate the application and removal of makeup to or from the doll's face by changing the temperature of the feature having thermochromic material. It should be understood that the eyelid portions 24 a and lips 26 are capable of color change not only across their whole surfaces, but across less than their whole surfaces as well.

The user may be provided with an applicator 80 which the user can use to apply makeup to the doll. As depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2, an applicator 80 is capable of acquiring and retaining a thermal characteristic, and could include a sponge, a piece of ice, a cold pack, or any other similar object. In an embodiment where the applicator 80 is a sponge, the user may dip the applicator 80 in cold water (or warm water) before passing it over the eyelid portions 24 a. As the cold water is applied to the eyelid portions 24 a, the thermochromic material will change color imitating the application of makeup to the eyelid portions 24 a.

Similarly, the applicator 80 may be used to change the color of the lips 26 to imitate the application of lipstick. While the eyelid portions 24 a and lips 26 are specifically discussed, other portions of the doll 10 may include thermochromic materials, regardless of whether those portions have other interactive responses, such as movement.

The colors of the thermochromic material and inks may be selected so that the color of the color-changing facial features matches that of head surface 24 before the thermal characteristic of the facial feature is changed and is different than that of head surface 24 after the thermal characteristic is changed. Any desirable combination of colors may be used for the inks, paint or other coloration systems used to color the head surface and the facial features, such as eyelid portions 24 a and lips 26. For example, a thermochromic material applied to the eyelid portions 24 a may change the eyelid portions 24 a from a flesh-toned color to a blue color. Similarly, the thermochromic material applied to the lips 26 may change from a natural lip color to a red color.

Alternatively, the thermochromic material may change between clear or transparent to a desired color responsive to the temperature change, such that the underlying color of the skin shows through until the user changes the temperature to effect the color change. Any suitable thermochromic material may be used as described in the present disclosure, and examples are listed above in the Background section.

In an exemplary embodiment, at least a portion of the feature is configured with thermochromic material to display a first and a second color. The portion of the feature with the thermochromic material has a thermal characteristic, typically the temperature of the thermochromic material, configurable between a first temperature and a second temperature. When the thermal characteristic is below the first temperature, the portion of the feature displays the first color. When the thermal characteristic is above the second temperature, the portion of the feature displays the second color.

Additionally, the portion of the feature having the thermochromic material may be substantially concealed when the feature is in the nominal configuration, and the portion of the feature having thermochromic material may be substantially exposed to the user when the feature is in the active configuration. For example, where the feature is an eye 24 and the portion having thermochromic material is the eyelid portion 24 a, all or part of the eyelid portion 24 a might be hidden from the user when the eye 24 is open, and all or part of the eyelid portion 24 a might be exposed to the user when the eye 24 is closed, allowing the user to apply makeup.

As described above, the trigger 44 may be used to interact with the doll 10 to trigger interactive movement of one or more facial features, or to trigger speech, and the applicator 80 may be used to alter the thermal condition of the eyelid portions 24 a or lips 26. FIGS. 1-3 show an exemplary embodiment where the trigger 44 and the applicator 80 are coupled into a hand-held makeup unit 42. The makeup unit 42 illustrated in FIGS. 1-3 includes a grip portion 46 and a contact portion 48 to which the applicator 80 is mounted. The trigger 44 may be disposed in the grip portion 46, may be disposed partially in the grip portion 46 and partially in the contact portion 48, or may be disposed entirely within the contact portion 48. The applicator 80 may be mounted on a contact portion 48 of the makeup unit, and the applicator may comprise a foam tip or a tip of other absorbent material such as sponge capable of acquiring and retaining liquids. In some aspects of the present disclosure, the hand-held makeup unit 42 may be configured in a size suitable for young girls and may include etchings, paintings, raised portions, or other forms of decoration that is pleasing to young girls.

When the trigger 44 includes an internal magnet as described above, the hand-held makeup unit 42 can include a sealed body such that the user does not have convenient access to the magnet or other components stored within the hand-held makeup unit 42. When the trigger 44 includes a battery powered system, the hand-held makeup unit 42 may be configured to include a battery compartment and cover, which may be adapted to be selectively opened by the user to replace the batteries.

As described above, the applicator 80 may be used to apply water or other fluids to the doll 10 to activate or deactivate the thermochromic materials. The uptake and release rates of the applicator 80 as well as its fluid storage capacity may be selected to allow the user to apply the fluid to the doll without the fluid running or spreading to areas the user did not intend. The fluid storage and release capabilities of the applicator 80 may be extended by use of a reservoir in the grip portion 46.

The doll 10 may be used with a bowl 82 for holding the water or other fluid to be applied to the doll 10 to activate or deactivate the thermochromic materials. The bowl 82 may be formed in any suitable shape to further enhance the recreational value of the interactive doll as the child simulates the application of makeup.

FIGS. 1-2 illustrate one configuration of a bowl 82 as a bowl divided into two reservoirs 84 and 86. The user may put warm water in one reservoir 84 and cold water in the other reservoir 86 to allow the user to selectively apply and remove the makeup without returning to the sink or other source of water. The number of reservoirs formed in the bowl 82 may depend on the configuration of the doll 10 and the number and nature of thermochromic materials applied to the doll.

In a further aspect of a previously mentioned exemplary embodiment, the bowl 82 has two reservoirs, the first reservoir holding water below the first temperature, and the second reservoir holding water above the second temperature. This configuration allows a user to apply water from the reservoirs to the portions of the features having thermochromic material, causing the portions to change between displaying the first and second colors.

In another aspect of the disclosure depicted in FIG. 6, the doll 10 may include a voice generator 70 including a processor 72 and memory 74, a speaker 76, and a power supply 78, which together may be adapted to produce sound resembling human speech or any other sound. Any speaker size adapted to fit within the interactive doll may be used.

A preferred embodiment uses a memory device 74 having a memory chip adapted to store at least 12 seconds of sound data, but different types of memory devices and larger or smaller memory chips may be used. The voice generator 70 may be disposed in the head cavity 28, the body cavity 34, or both. The voice generator may include features to enable the doll to speak different phrases in response to different user inputs. For example, the voice generator may be adapted to generate a particular phrase after the user applies makeup to the lips 26 and a different phrase after the user applies makeup to the eyes 24.

Additionally or alternatively, the voice generator may be adapted to generate a given phrase in response to user activation of a user interface mechanism 36 and a different phrase after the user applies any kind of makeup. Additionally, the power supply 78 may optionally be coupled to the internal portions 50 a and/or 50 b, depending on whether those portions require power to move the features. Other configurations and adaptations of the speaking device are possible such that the speaking device responds to the user interaction.

In another aspect of the present disclosure, the doll may include a user interface mechanism 36, an example of which is illustrated in FIGS. 1-3. The user interface mechanism 36 may be adapted to activate one or more of the interactive features of the doll 10, such as the eyes 24, the lips 26, and/or a voice generator 70. The interface mechanism 36 may be associated with the body 30 or the head 20.

The interface mechanism 36 may include an interface member 38 with which the user can interact to cause a response by one or more interactive features of the doll 10. The interface mechanism may be in physical, electrical, magnetic or radio communication with the movement mechanisms and/or the speaking devices. As illustrated in FIGS. 1-3, the interface member 38 of the interface mechanism 36 may include a depressible button adapted to look like a jewel or other clothing feature.

Accordingly, while embodiments have been particularly shown and described with reference to the foregoing disclosure, many variations may be made therein. The foregoing embodiments are illustrative, and no single feature or element is essential to all possible combinations that may be used in a particular application. Where the claims recite “a” or “a first” element or the equivalent thereof, such claims include one or more such elements, neither requiring nor excluding two or more such elements. Further, ordinal indicators, such as first, second or third, for identified elements are used to distinguish between the elements, and do not indicate or imply a required or limited number of such elements, and do not indicate a particular position or order of such elements unless otherwise specifically stated.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8029330 *Nov 5, 2007Oct 4, 2011Mattel, Inc.Doll with two conductor tethered remote control
Classifications
U.S. Classification446/484
International ClassificationA63H29/22
Cooperative ClassificationA63H3/40, A63H3/28, A63H3/365, A63H2200/00
European ClassificationA63H3/36B, A63H3/28, A63H3/40
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 5, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: MATTEL, INC., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:VIOHL, EVELYN;REEL/FRAME:018970/0070
Effective date: 20070302